Postcards From Abroad…Arrival in Paris💋

 

       “Traveling. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

-Ibn Battuta

 

Hi!

 

 

 

So today Joe and I are brimming with excitement because we are going to France…specifically Paris…which is the major part of our trip.

 

 

We arrived at the station early… so I had time to do a little shopping…and while I was paying for a purchase in a Cath Kidston shop the sales girl told me I had an amazing accent. I told her that I thought she had the amazing accent. 😉 When it was time we got in line for the Chunnel and noticed we needed to go through customs again. We got through with minimal baggage in tow…hopped in car 11…and found our seats. Even though we had been on the Chunnel before during a summer vacation in 2005 we were so excited with anticipation of returning to Paris and to be riding it again. The 2 1/2 hour trip was pleasant…While Joe rested a bit I visited the diner for a latte. Before we knew it we had arrived at the hustling bustling Garden du Nord station in Paris…

 

 

by now Joe and I were both hungry so we stopped and had a bite at the cafe…

 

 

located in the Station.

 

 

After lunch we chose not to take the underground…

 

 

opting instead to take a cab to the Eiffel Turenne Hotel read more   

The driver turned out to be delightful…

 

 

and our drive felt more like a tour as the driver pointed out many wonderful sights…

 

 

Plaza Concordia…

 

 

La Madeleine Church…

 

 

 

 

all the different plazas…

 

 

the River Seine…

 

 

the different bridges…

 

 

giving us…

 

 

 

 

 

 

the flavor of the city.

 

 

 

 

He told us he lived 10 kilometers out of Paris and that one day he would like to come to the states and ride a motorcycle all the way down the West coast.😉 Having had such a wonderful experience with a friendly taxi driver who spoke English well…was a delightful way to spend our first morning in Paris.

 

When we arrived at our hotel we were so happy to see how close we were to the Eiffel Tower.

up next…

The Eiffel Tower

 

The flavor of Paris💋

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 2 Comments

Postcards From Abroad…The Avonmore Hotel London…A Manicure…& Bon Vivant

 

          The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen, and the memories you’ve made along the way” 

-anonymous

 

Hello!

 

 

I’m heading out to join friends for lunch…and before I go I just had to share a bit more of my travels.

 

 

 

 

Today we continue along with the second half of our trip where we got off from the Heathrow Express and took the train to the San Pancras Station because this is where we planned on taking the Chunnel to Paris the next day.

 

 

Even though the station was within walking distance we decided to take a cab to the Avonmore Hotel More

 

 

which was in the Cartwright Gardens section of the city and very close to San Pancras Station.

 

 

When we arrived at the hotel…

 

 

 the gentleman at the desk told us our room was on the fifth floor…(there was no lift)🙀

 

 

and then switched us to the first landing.

 

 

We got settled in…

 

 

then went out in the neighborhood to find a place to eat…mail my postcards…and get a manicure (me) The Cartwright Gardens is  located in the University of London district and had wonderful energy in the downtown area with many of the university students living in the area.  (The Avonmore had once  been a dormitory for students) We followed the concierge’s suggestion to check out the Brunswick Center on Marchmont St. for a nail salon…and sure enough I found one…and was even more delighted to get right in. The gal who did my nails was so sweet… she shared with me about her future dreams of getting married…and how one day she would like to move out of the city and into the country. I shared with her about being on an anniversary holiday and just returning from the Cotswolds explaining how I understood why she loved the countryside…

 

 

Marchmont was a great street to walk around and later on we decided to have dinner at Bon Vivant a French restaurant in the neighborhood. We sat outside and indulged in people watching  as we ate our delicious meal. The next morning we went down to the basement to the kitchen…and where a full English breakfast was served.

 

 

I began to imagine what life was like during those earlier years for both the servants and their wealthy owners who  had once lived there.💕

 

 

After breakfast we took our time walking to the station and then waited patiently to catch the Chunnel which will be taking us to Paris today!💋

 

 

see you soon!❌⭕️❌

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 3 Comments

Postcards From Abroad…The Wild Toad Ride…Windsor Castle & The Cotswolds

 

 

    ”Twenty Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

-Mark Twain

 

 

Hello…

 

 

Continuing sharing about our anniversary trip… and just incase you missed last week’s adventure read more here or here

 

 

 

 

Today is a travel day. We have come to realize that on a travel day it is important to have everything ready to go the night before.

 

 

This morning we walked by the River Thames where I took a few photos…and then we stopped at Starbucks.☕️ got a bite to eat…and then made our way to Charring Cross Station…took the underground and then arrived at Paddington Station to board the Heathrow Express where we then took the shuttle bus to Enterprise.

 

 

It wasn’t until Joe was driving the rental that he realized the standard shift was a little different than ours back in the states…

 

 

not to mention the challenge of driving on the left hand side of tiny English roads. Joe had to use his left hand to shift which he wasn’t accustomed to and he stalled the car. several times After a while he figured out that he wasn’t in the gear he thought he was in. Looking back now it was quite funny… especially in the parking lot when Joe couldn’t get the car in reverse…I had been in the restroom and when I came out Joe had put the car in neutral and was pushing it as he yelled out for me to hop in! sure Joe!

 

 

He learned the hard way…(listening to me scream) watching me have seizures as he almost hit things alongside the road.😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somehow (miraculously) we made it to Windsor Castle.

 

 

It was worth the wild toad ride there to be able to experience all the beauty and charm of where so many royal weddings are held.💋

 

 

The day was just beautiful…a lovely street with flags hanging from one building to another.

 

 

We found a delightful place to enjoy lunch.

 

 

After an amazing day we headed to the Cotswolds…

 

 

 

 

 

 

entering the small town of Ilmington where we had reservations at The Howard Arms a quintessential English Country Inn. Read more

 

 

From the moment we arrived we experienced perfection…the food…room…service…

 

 

and the beauty of the area.

 

 

It was quiet…elegant…family friendly…a great pub within the restaurant…I loved everything! I couldn’t have asked for anything nicer.

 

 

Each morning they would serve a full English breakfast along with muffins…jams…juice…fruits…teas… etc.

 

 

The day after we arrived we decided to visit Bourton-on-the-Water known as the Venice of the Cotswolds.

 

 

Joe did a fabulous job driving there…by now he had become an expert with the roundabouts and the rental car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The village was charming with delightful 300 year old cottages that have been named.

 

 

We walked along the town and stopped for a nosh in a small cafe…

 

 

Taking in the countryside… the people…

 

 

and all the cute unique shops.

 

 

Later we returned to Howard Arms to enjoy dinner.

 

 

After dinner we took an evening stroll…I found it hard not to peek into the homes. Early the next morning we luxuriated over our last breakfast at the Inn…and then were off to return our rental car before taking the shuttle to Heathrow Airport where we would make our way back to London and then check into the Avonmore Hotel.

 

 

stay tuned for more…

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 5 Comments

Postcards From Abroad…London

 

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow’”

Anita Desai

Hello…

 

 

Today we arrived in London!

 

 

And just in case you missed the beginning…The beginning

 

 

 

 

The Strand Palace Hotel will be our home for the next couple of days.

 

 

 Instead of trying to hassle with the tubes in the underground…

 

 

 

 

Joe thought we should just take a cab. great idea Joe!💋

 

 

 I really enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

 

 

 The cabs are unique…and fun to ride in. Our cab driver was very nice and talked all the way to the hotel. We shared with him that it was our 15th wedding anniversary and he made us laugh when he said seven years is as long as he can get to in any relationship. Anyway it was a pleasant ride and when we arrived at the hotel the doorman was very welcoming.

 

 

We checked into our room on the seventh floor room 714. The room was smaller than we imagined from the photos we had seen when we made the reservations…however it was nice and clean and looked out into a small courtyard…and most importantly the hotel was in a great location!

 

 

Even though we were both exhausted and needed to turn in and get some sleep we decided to go and get something to eat in the hotel’s cafe. While enjoying a wonderful meal (I had fish & chips… and I forget what Joe had other than dessert) 😋 we began planning for the next day Friday. We had some ideas…but nothing definite. We had no trouble falling asleep that night. During the night Joe woke up and started thinking about what we had spoken about at dinner…and the things we would like to do…one being experiencing a play in the British theatre. Since he was awake he decided to go online checking the different theatres. He noticed that The Book Of Mormon was playing at The Prince of Wales Theatre More and so he went ahead and purchased tickets for Friday evening. Joe figured this would give us the day to rest and then we could walk to dinner before strolling to the theatre. This was a great plan and so the next evening after a restful day we began our walk to dinner and the play. At this point I won’t go into all the details however simply said we got a little lost on our walk (this would be a common occurrence  throughout our trip💋) the name of the streets are written high on the wall and visible if you know where to look…however we were looking for regular street signs and got turned around ending up right in the middle of Trafalgar Square where there were lots of things going on…concerts…and some kind of protest…

 

 

fortunately we found our way again and stopped at a charming Italian restaurant for dinner before the play.

 

 

When we arrived at the theatre the curator of the lines were formed and were rather long. Joe had to work his way through up to the window that had the tickets and then get back in the long line. I had been waiting in line and thought I could just cut through to where Joe was…but the guard saw me. 🤭

 

 

btw …the play is fabulous. A story about religion, faith, fraternity and God.

 

 

The music and choreography were outstanding. The audience was great…lots of clapping and laughing.

 

 

When we got out of the theatre it was relatively late and yet there were people walking around everywhere.

 

 

It was exciting…as we were heading back to the hotel we noticed a small restaurant and stopped to look at their dessert menu.

 

 

Before we knew it we were sitting inside in a romantic corner of the restaurant…

 

 

ordering a dessert.

 

 

(another common occurrence on our trip)😘

 

 

The next day it was raining…but this would not defer the Califorgornian gal. Following a relaxing morning Joe was able to get the location for the Cath Kidston store.Click away

 

 

 I have been longing to go into one of her shops!😉

 

 

While I explored Cath Kidston… Joe found a place to have coffee.😉☕️

 

 

Afterwards we ate lunch at the White Swan Pub. So far it’s been a fabulous couple of days in London…our next stop will be in the Cotswolds verdant pastures and quaint cottage villages.

to be continued…

 

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 12 Comments

Postcards From Abroad…✈️

 

 

”There is no place like home for real comfort”

Jane Austin

Good Day…Bonjour…Hello…

 

 

I’m home and have been luxuriating in the afterglow…

 

 

aka… jet lag traveling through 9 time zones✈️

 

 

 

Early on during our 15th wedding anniversary holiday…I began sending postcards back to our sweet cottage in the states sharing the details of the day…eventually Joe collaborated with me with voice recordings and together we began journaling our trip.

 

 

Upon the arrival home it was so delightful to have the postcards waiting. I thought it would be fun to piece them together…along with Joes voice recordings.

 

 

 Today’s story begins with our departure on Wednesday, October 3rd.

 

 

We were very excited and filled with anticipation. All packed up we left home about 10 o’clock in the morning from the Oregon coast. Everything was ready so we took off and had a lovely drive… we stopped in Coos Bay just for a little bit…to pick up some cash and drinks and things like a Starbucks pumpkin latte☕️

 

 

Along the way we decided we were going to eat lunch at the Red Lobster in Eugene (where we would be boarding for a quick flight into Los Angeles before switching to British Airlines for the international flight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wanted to arrive at the airport early to take care of any last minute details that might occur. When we got to the airport Joe dropped me off at the terminal then went to park the car in long-term parking. The plane was medium in size and so I needed to check in my carry-on luggage. When we arrived in LAX we were surprised to see it was raining. (I figured it followed me from the Oregon coast) 😉 we were told that we would need to take a shuttle bus for the international flight since the main terminal was not connected to this departure. In the process of everything I left my cute little pink pillow behind on the shuttle…I was disappointed because it said “ooh la la” 💋and was so comfy. I ended up purchasing a spa neck pillow in the terminal.

 

 

 The flight was supposed to leave about 9:35 pm and it didn’t really leave until almost 10. The time went quickly and I’ve got to say I loved flying British Airways! 💕 It was very interesting about getting on the plane because it was face recognition.😲 They said you don’t need your passport… you don’t need your ticket… all you do is step up to the monitor and they will scan your face and recognize it. The scan will open up the gate and we just had to walk through it. Our faces were recognized and we just walked through and boarded the plane. It was very futuristic and interesting.  Finally boarded and found our seats we noticed a woman who had immediately fallen asleep and slept for most of the 10 hour flight.

 

 

We had a wonderful dinner and we were both surprised that the flight was so comfortable even for such a long period…however neither one of us slept that much and before we knew it…it was morning and they were offering us breakfast!  This is when the girl woke up and we discovered she was from Romania. She was married to a broker..lives in Manhattan Beach, California…and has two children. She & her husband both work in finance.  She was especially excited that we were going to London and said she had just been there and she was going back because her father had passed away.  She was telling us all the places that we should go while we are there. In the midst of our conversation she realized that she has lost her Invisaline retainer (while asleep) and so Joe and I got out of our seats and in the aisle to help her look for it…unfortunately we never did find it. I felt bad for her because I know they are terribly expensive.

 

 

When we arrived at Heathrow Airport we got two tickets for the Heathrow Express that would take us to Paddington station.

 

 

A charming old world British rail station.

 

 

It was around 5:00 pm & we stopped at the Costa cafe for a drink and  noche.

 

 

Joe checked the info for our hotel and then we headed out for a taxi. (Which by the way are the cutest!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and now we were heading off for our first hotel in the fabulous city of London…

 

 

The Strand Palace Hotel. London

To be continued…

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 14 Comments